CONTRACEPTIVE USE AMONG FEMALE STUDENTS OF UNIVERSITY OF BENIN, BENIN CITY
Background to the Study
The practice of contraception is old as human existence. Ancient writings noted on the Leahun Papyrus (1800 BCE) that the old Egyptians practice contraception by using a vaginal pessary of crocodile dung and fermented dough which may create an hostile environment for sperm. During the early second century in Rome, Sorunus of Ephesus created a highly acidic concoction of fruits, nuts and wool that was placed at the cervical OS to create a spermicidal barrier (Wikipedia.com, 2010). Over the years, issues related to sexuality and contraception, have been taken with great reservation by Nigerians, as a result of increase in sexual expressions and experimentation among adolescents. Studies conducted among female students in Nigeria indicate an overall awareness rate of 70.9%. Among sexually exposed students, there was contraceptive usage rate of 40.1% and an unwanted pregnancy rate of 30.5% (Adinma and Okeke, 1995). Most adolescents who are sexually active and do not use contraceptive face the increasing risks of unwanted pregnancies and unsafe abortions. Induced abortion currently accounts for 20,000 of the estimated 50,000 of maternal death occur in Nigeria each year (Akingba, 1977; Okonfua and Liumok, 1992). Many unwanted pregnancies by adolescents arise out of ignorance, because they receive inadequate education on sexual and reproductive health, and the source of information available on contraception are on dubious, unreliable and misleading because the information is less motivated by healthcare providers than their peers. The 1990 Demographic and Health Survey indicated that only 11% of sexually active women age 15 – 19 ever used any modern contraceptive methods. The utilization of modern methods of contraceptive has always been shown to be poor among Nigerian adolescents. Studies from Western and Southern Nigeria have found the rates of contraceptive use among sexually active adolescents to be about 30% (Arowoju, Adekunle, Okpani and Okpani, 2000).